It’s hard to believe that anything in “Rock and Roll Terrorist” ever actually happened. But then you look up GG Allin online and then you’re kind of shocked that GG Allin ever happened. GG Allin is a hotly debated and still polarizing figure in rock and roll, he was a man who could be described in so many ways by so many people. Criminal. Sadist. Messiah. Troll. Icon. Rapist. Rockstar. Scumfuck. He’s a man that doesn’t quite fit one peg and that’s just how he liked it.
From Microcosm Publishing, Reid Chancellor’s “Rock and Roll Terrorist” is an incredibly absorbing and compelling graphic novel that follows the life and infamy of GG Allin. Allin was born Jesus Christ Allin who was called GG due to his brother’s inability to pronounce his name, Born out of a psychotic father and a truly horrifying home life, Allin completely embraced and absorbed the horror and chaos of his childhood and projected it on to his audience, all of whom he abused proudly.
Through some pretty stark and grimy art work that compliments the biography, Chancellor takes us through just about every single event of Allin’s life, right down to his final days submitting to drugs, partying, and alcohol. There’s a lot to learn about GG Allin, but the reader never quite picks up what he is and what makes him tick at any point. He only really allows himself to be vulnerable with his brother Merle, while everyone else is spit on, punched, attacked, molested, and terrorized. Allin even brags about how much he loved to terrorize his first girlfriend with whatever weapons he could find.
Throughout the events that unfold, Chancellor explores Allin’s short time working with Deedee Ramone, starting the AIDS Brigade, and eventually the Murder Junkies. Chancellor even puts to page his appearances on daytime talk shows like Jerry Springer and Geraldo Rivera, et al. Ironically while Allin did race to the finish line partying as hard as he could, he spent much of his final hours being cannibalized and worshiped like hundreds of other rock stars before and after his time.
The irony is never lost on Chancellor who offers thoughtful prologues and epilogues about his thoughts on Allin, and his goal toward humanizing Allin as much as he could. Was he a better person for taking his trauma and giving it to others? Or was he worse off for basically becoming everything he felt about the trauma he’d endured as a child? “Rock and Roll Terrorist” in all of its 192 pages, never asks you to sympathize or empathize with Allin. That’s up to the reader. You either go in to the book understanding why and who he was, or you merely read the book in horror, and sigh relieved that he’s dead.